Economic Development Coordinating Council

BY Brad Kane


Economic Development Coordinating Council

Timothy P. Murray President & CEO Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

If you are looking for the true economic and political power in Central Massachusetts, you should start by walking into the Worcester city manager's office at 8:30 a.m. every Friday.

There, the executive committee of the Economic Development Coordinating Council holds its weekly meeting to discuss various proposals that impact the lifeblood of the city and region.

Franklin Realty Advisors' purchase of two downtown office towers for $33 million and UMass Memorial Health Care's decision to move 500 workers into those towers both were shaped and approved in that weekly EDCC meeting. The decision announced in October to run a nonstop train from Worcester's Union Station to Boston's South Station? The EDCC's work.

The EDCC members are Central Massachusetts Power Players in their own right. Timothy P. Murray, the former lieutenant governor, heads the largest chamber of commerce in the region. Edward P. Augustus runs the region's largest city.

The EDCC is the brainchild of the city's key political and business leaders, who sought to lock several economic development organizations under one vision. Its formation was an agreement between the city, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Worcester Business Development Corp. and the Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives.

After the eight-member executive committee vets each idea, the full committee votes on it. The members of that full committee are Worcester Mayor Joe Petty; Abraham Haddad, MBI chairman; John Merrill, chief operating officer of Fidelity Bank; Joseph Salois, CEO of Atlas Distributing; Sandy Dunn, general manager of the DCU Center; Susan Mailman, president of Coghlin Electric; and Troy Siebels, president and CEO of the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts.

Change Agents: Executives bringing their organizations to new heights

Visionaries: Forward thinkers pushing to realize the promises of the future
Politicos: Public officials leveraging their positions to further business development
Fresh Faces: Newcomers to Central Massachusetts with refreshing perspectives and ideas
Inner Circle: Long-time players who continue to have a significant role in new developments